Greetings! Let me introduce myself. From a young age, I have been drawn to the pasta cutters and tangled webs of cheesecloth shoved into the forgotten corners of my mother’s cupboards. I’ve always appreciated a culinary challenge, and living in Korea never fails to deliver. Whether it’s banana bread in a rice cooker or a 3-day endeavor for homemade hummus, I will find a way.
Fueled by passion and PMS, I maintain the attitude that no craving shalt go unnourished. Join me on my culinary goose chase, and I promise your palate will be rewarded!
As one who lives life through her taste buds, what better way to introduce myself than with a few of my greatest culinary discoveries thus far.
NongHyup Supermarket, Ponam-dong, Gangneung
This little diamond in the rough has earned it’s spot near and dear to my heart. While it’s a bit cramped, and on more than one occasion I have unintentionally cast loitering shoppers into the mist of the lettuce display with a mad dash for the last package of fresh chicken breasts, it’s certainly worth the venture.
This store stocks celery, fresh parsley (curly AND flat-leaf italian), and cleanly butchered fresh chicken breasts. Their prices are seemingly very affordable, AND you don’t have to deal with the pomp and circumstance of a weekend trip to Home Plus.
BONUS! There’s a Paris Baguette across the street if you need fresh baked goods, and the 7/11 on the corner has a mini fruit market in the front with fresh lemons.
Shelly’s, Sacheon Beach, about 9 km North of Gangneung
This coffee shop is welcomingly out of place in the sleepy fishing village of Sacheon. Shelly’s is a 2-story cobblestone building with expansive patio and pleasant views of Sacheon Beach. Complete with a wine cellar, this establishment belongs more in Cape Cod than Korea. While it’s hard to believe it was only built in 2006, this spot is the perfect place to enjoy a seaside coffee or snack on a sunny afternoon.
Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich, complete with celery (a rarity!) and lightly dressed mixed field greens.
Cheesecake, yet to be personally enjoyed, but the source of many rave reviews!!
Fuzzy Nazel, Haeundai Beach, Busan
When that salsa craving strikes, get ready to board a bus for the long haul to Busan. You’ll thank me.
On a recent trip over Chuseok, big plans to take the naked leap of faith in Spa Land and discover Busan’s lost corners quickly became fleeting memories after noting this establishment’s specialty. As each new day dawned, the sun was greeted in our hostel with hoarse whispers of “chimichanga” from many a hung over friend.
While I do still feel a bit embarrassed to have never visited a jjimjibang, and while I do entirely blame the chimichanga for preventing me from rectifying this, I live with no regrets. Spicy chicken, rice, beans, and cheese are all wrapped up in a flour tortilla, then melted together in satisfying goodness with the help of a deep fryer. Topped off with pico de gallo, guac (extra, but worth it) and loads of jalapeños, the result is a plate of Mexican love, sweeter than my good friend María.